GoPro Fusion is now on sale for $499! It was originally $699, and occasionally on special sale for $599. $499 is the lowest price it’s ever been! Should you buy one? Here’s what you must know before buying!
GoPro Fusion is one of the best 360 cameras at the moment for hardware, with the highest video quality, and in Raw mode, it has one of the best photo quality. It also has excellent stabilization that enables you to use it as a 3PV camera (third person view camera). Here’s a review video:
If Fusion is so good, why is GoPro dropping the price? One reason could be because of intense competition from the Insta360 One X ($399, reviewed here). Here is a comparison between these two cameras:
Fusion is also facing competition from Rylo ($499, reviewed here), which increased its resolution to 5.8K.
The bottom line
The bottom line is that GoPro Fusion is still one of the best 360 cameras in terms of hardware, and sheer image quality. However, in September, GoPro laid off their entire 360 software development team (formerly from Kolor), and there have been no updates to GoPro Fusion software since then. TBH, given GoPro’s current financial situation, I don’t expect them to update the Fusion anytime soon.
Assuming Fusion gets no further updates, here are how things stand:
– Both the Windows and Mac software are good at stitching Fusion photos and videos. The software can do basic conversion to a non-360 photo or video (e.g. tiny planet) but has no keyframing capability.
– It is NOT true that Fusion is slow to stitch. You DO need a graphics card (I recommend GTX 1050 Ti) to stitch videos, but other than that, it’s pretty good. Even with a modest i5-4590, 8GB RAM and GTX 1050 Ti, it stitches at around 7:1 or 8:1 ratio (7 or 8 mins. to stitch 1 min. of video). This is similar to the stitching speed of the Insta360 One X on my desktop.
– Fusion has a poor mobile workflow due to unfinished apps.
—- The iOS smartphone app can control the Fusion and stitch 360 photos and videos, but the stitched 360 photo or video is buried deep in the phone’s file system. You can share it to Facebook or YouTube but not the Photo album. I have a hard time uploading it anywhere besides Facebook or YouTube. The iOS app can create non-360 photos and videos.
—- The Android app is incomplete. You can control the Fusion and share 360 photos (to Facebook) but you can’t share 360 videos.
Even if Fusion gets no further updates, I still think it is one of the best 360 cameras at the moment, and if you must have the best video quality, then it’s what I recommend, especially at this price. But if you want a 360 camera that will have more support in the future, and with video quality that is almost as good, I still would recommend the $399 Insta360 One X (get a free selfie stick with this link — and thanks for supporting 360 rumors).